Thien Ha Cave, crystallizes historical, cultural and landscape values

Located in the World Heritage area – Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, Thien Ha cave eco-tourism area attracts visitors because it has a pure wild beauty and is very poetic. Considered as a beautiful cave with magnificent stalactites, the beauty of Thien Ha cave is associated with beautiful words such as “stone castle” or “galaxy in the heart of the mountain”.

Thien Ha Cave, also known as Tuong Nui Cave, is located on the southern slope of Tuong Mountain, a triattic limestone mountain range, about 250 million years ago, in the 10th century, which acted as part of a strong natural wall. sure to surround and protect the capital Hoa Lu.

To move to Thien Ha cave, visitors can go from Muong Tho Ha village, Son Ha commune to Ben Dang river wharf, take a boat and turn into a small canal with a length of about 1 km. Then continue walking on the 500m long stone road along the foot of Tuong mountain to reach the cave entrance. The scenery of the river along the way is enough to make visitors flutter before that tranquil beauty.

Coming to Thien Ha Cave, visitors follow the Bai Dinh – Cuc Phuong route or the National Highway 12B route, 24 km northwest of Ninh Binh city. On the journey, visitors can explore the dry cave first. The dry cave is 200m long and 40m wide. Stepping into the cave entrance, visitors will not be surprised by the system of beautiful stalactites shimmering like a brilliant castle surrounded by layers of horny rock thousands of years old. Different from the ancient and wild outside, inside the cave is the creation of an extremely unique and attractive stalactite system, the deeper you go inside the cave, the stalactites appear with various shapes to awaken the imagination. rich image of visitors. The atmosphere in the cave is cool, refreshing, very interesting. In the dry cave, there is also an entrance to the southern mountainside, called the Sky Well. This is where Thien Ha cave intersects with the outside world. Going to the end of the dry cave, visitors will get off the boat to explore the water cave. The 500m long underground river is likened to a winding, endless galaxy with layers of pure white stalactites. The deeper you go inside, the more visitors are attracted by the beauty of thousands of stone masterpieces meticulously carved and arranged by the Creator’s hands, with legends about Hoa Tien Island, Bau Sua Mother, and Fish Hoa. Long…

Going deep into Thien Ha cave, going through the cave gate about 3-4m high, visitors will discover a cave with a length of 700m including a 200m long dry cave and a 500m long water cave with other unique and fancy shapes. making visitors unable to help but be surprised.

Although the dry cave is not long, it also makes visitors fall in love with the beauty of a silver and gold inlaid palace hidden in the rocky mountains. Having this beauty is because Thien Ha cave has a space like a skylight on the surface of the cave, allowing sunlight to shine, subtly shimmering the magical light of stalactites hidden in many shimmering colors. virtual, attracting viewers.

In the dry cave, there is also a door leading to the southern mountainside, called the Sky Well. The skylight is wide and about 2.5-3m high, pouring natural light down to the bottom, making the space open and airy. On sunny days, that light reflects on the stalactites, giving off very fanciful and eye-catching colors. 

This Sky Well area still retains many vestiges of the ancient Vietnamese people, who lived about 7500 – 10000 years ago. Here, scientists found traces of mollusks, hewn tools, fragments of magma group, bones of terrestrial animals… Residents here live and fully exploit in the advanced marine environment. . 

The cultural layer is preserved almost intact in Thien Ha cave, showing a vivid picture of the life of the ancient Vietnamese with the adaptation and creativity of the cultural residents before and after the sea progressed through the period of sea recession. in the New Stone Age.

Besides the values ​​of the landscape, Thien Ha cave also contains special historical and cultural values. In 2008, local archaeologists first discovered some mollusk shells such as mountain snails, clams and ash coal – traces left by ancient Vietnamese residents. Until 2012, Thien Ha cave was surveyed by the Institute of Archeology and the Management Board of Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex under the project “Investigating, surveying and researching archaeological relics in the area of ​​​​the complex of landscapes. Trang An Ninh Binh to build a dossier to submit to Unesco for world heritage recognition”.

Here, archaeologists have found traces of molluscs, hewn pebble tools, including shards of magmatic rock group, pieces of coarse pottery with coarsely beaten texture, soft, thick-walled ceramic bones, and animal bones. terrestrial, slender and tortoiseshell. The animal remains and mollusc shells obtained are of Holocene age. Initially, it is possible to predict the age of the site of the Middle Neolithic, with an age of 9,000 – 7,000 years BP and the Late Neolithic, with an age of 4,000 years BP. Residents here live and fully exploit in the advanced marine environment.

Thus, the cultural layer is preserved almost intact in Thien Ha cave, giving us a vivid picture of the life of the ancient Viet people with the adaptation and creativity of the cultural inhabitants before and after the sea progressed through the times. Recession period in the Neolithic Age in the Complex of Trang An relics. In addition to boldly preserving the traditions of Hoa Binh and Da But, the prehistoric residents here pioneered a new culture and lifestyle to adapt to the changing environment, which is most evident in the combination of working tools by hand. limestone, in pottery, in pottery, and in the orientation of in-situ marine exploitation. Living in the environment before the sea advance and after the sea recedes, the residents here create a new cultural form, one of the important links, opening the Metal Age, moving towards civilization in the ancient waters of Trang. An, Ninh Binh.

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